If it came down to a choice between shooting stuff in real life and shooting stuff in a video game, we reckon we’d choose the video game. . .  So far from being a dangerous influence, games are actually offer some of the best stress relief the world has to offer.

There’s one habit that 99% of all gamers share: they play a game at the first possible opportunity when they get home from school or work. But despite the fact that billions of people follow this habit, surprisingly few understand it. What makes you play a shooter when you get home from work or school? Simple: anger management and stress therapy.

FPSs like Insurgency Offer Great Stress Relief

It’s no surprise that First Person Shooters are the bestselling game genre ever. No other game genre makes us feel as powerful as shooters do. Really, what could compare, in terms of power, to wielding a giant virtual gun and blowing everyone’s virtual guts out?

Not much.

Games are therapy, in a sense; often anger therapy, sometimes stress therapy. Heck, if we journey through different genres, we even come to spiritual therapy (Journey) and freedom (RPGs like Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13).

Oftentimes, we feel angry, and a gamer’s first response at such times is to pick up a virtual gun and blow someone’s brains out. Suddenly, having done this, we feel a little better—well, at least until we get our asses kicked in multiplayer or have some fool sending a dumb message in the vain of “Your moms a ho.”

Games give us a sense of power like nothing else, and in doing so they form a powerful form of anger therapy. That’s why it was proven through scientific research in 2012 that games actually make people less violent. Games give gamers a safe way of venting their anger.

In fact, given the popularity of video games, it’s no exaggeration to say that games are one of the most popular forms of anger management in the world. And this, we think, is a very good thing.

Statistics would show that gamers are, on average, some of the least violent people in the world. I mean, really, when was the last time one of us nerds beat someone up?  Video games give us a safe and healthy outlet for anger.

As soon as politicians stop using video games as a scapegoat, the world will realise that games, so far from being dangerous and a negative influence, are actually an excellent form of therapy.

Thanks for reading.


Categories: gaming

Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.


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